I'm totally digging the whole costume-y, over-the-top rhinestone thing this holiday season. But that's just it: I'm digging it this holiday season, but I'm willing to bet, dollars to donuts, that I'm over the trend before the final chorus of Auld Lang Syne has commenced. Huge rhinestones are flashy, outlandish and a little bit gaudy—that is, everything you'd want in a signature holiday look. But it's a serious case of "a little goes a long way," and it can get tacky fast.
That's why I'm so enamored of Forever 21's veritable treasure trove of rhinestone costume jewelry. Nothing in the collection costs more than $10; in fact, on my most recent order, I shelled out more for the shipping than for the actual sparkly loot. And while the pieces aren't likely to withstand the test of time and be passed down to future generations, my bling-y bracelets and sumptuous teardrop earrings are sturdy enough to withstand a few festive parties. Plus, they don't look plastic-y (a hazard of lots of inexpensive jewelry).
Want to be dripping in jewels, but not beleaguered by debt? Opt for something sparkly in the form of the olive- and kelly-green rhinestone bracelet ($7.80), or something more subtle, like the elegant rhinestone earrings ($6.80) that look far more pricey than they really are. Rock a kicky cocktail ring — the oval-cut "emerald" ($3.80) ought to draw attention your way — or add some glittery glam to an LBD with the faceted triple-strand necklace ($7.80).
The great thing about these pieces is that no one's asking you to pretend they're the real deal. Sport your faux stones with pride, and revel in the fact that you didn't have to drop a fortune — or raid a deserted pirate ship — to look and feel like a million bucks. Oh, and look no further if you're hunting for a perfect stocking stuffer or gift tie-on. Every girl likes to get something sparkly, even if it's not meant to be worn on a certain finger.
Want even more cheap-chic shine? Check out our picks from ShopStyle's Forever 21 store: